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 Post subject: Re: Don Quixote - Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2001 8:23 am 
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<B>Don Q Special Offer</B><P>For Don Q performances on Nov. 5, 6 and 8, you can have a place (albeit very high and very restricted) plus a glass of champagne for £3. All the weekday seats for these performances are now being sold at Weekend matinees prices.<P>Ballet.co has details of this Royal Ballet special offer:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/news/1068.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/news/1068.html</A>


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 Post subject: Re: Don Quixote - Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2001 3:38 am 
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2/11/01<P>It could have just been the view from my seat which was pretty terrible compared to the one I had to the rehearsal, but I found this performance rather lukewarm.<P>Rojo I feel didn't really catch fire as Kitri. I think my expectations may have been too high. She earned glowing reviews for Juliet and Giselle, she was astounding in the Don Q pdd in the mixed bill in August, and I just assumed this would be another natural and brilliant role for her. She is a wonderful dance actress for sure, coquettishly eyeing up her love Basilo, defiant at the prospect of an arranged marriage. After an initial slip onstage she snapped right back into character. And she was a technical marvel throughout her solos as Dulcinea. In the grande pdd she threw out quads from the start, snapping open her fan with each one.<P>I was so excited at hearing of the pairing of her with Kobborg when it was first announced but now I don't think they have much chemistry in this ballet. I did hear a few whispers that she generated more fireworks with Acosta.<P>I can't find any fault with Kobborg though. He's a brilliant dancer, his cabrioles and series of pirouettes bringing gasps from the audience in the final pdd. And he's just as wonderful actor, stealing confused and jealous glances as Kitri danced with Don Q. His 'mock death' scene - absolutely perfect. The expression on his face when he stabbed himself was hilarious.<P>Marianela Nunez made a wicked Street Dancer. Martin Harvey pulled off the Toreador with great panache. I don't think this is a particularly strong role though - not nearly as much for the man to do as I remember in Baryshnikov's version. Justin Meissner as the Gypsy Boy brought loud cheers.<P>Zenaida Yanowsky was fabulous as the Dryad Queen, while Cojocaru made a light and airy Armour. I have a weakness for glitter and tutus and the moment when the screen lifts to reveal the dancers boureeing in place is absolutely my favourite scene. And the sight of Rojo, Yanosky and Cojocaru threading bourees around each other is even better.<P>Now that a novelty of a new ballet has worn off, I somewhat can understand why critics find the production so dull. For me the Act I costumes in particular could use more colour. Kitri for example should stand out from all the other villagers, but her rose-red dress just blends her in right into the props. I also think Don Q slows down the action everytime he's on stage. His sequences are far too long and I still don't have a clue what's going on in the gypsy scene with the minature stage and those kids.<P>I enjoyed it tremendously the first time. Nureyev's choreography for the corps I found particularly interesting. But last night I was stifling yawns. One more performance to go with Cojocaru and Corella. This is the pairing I'm most looking forward to, but as for the ballet, I could really take it or leave it. <P>Final note, BBC cameras were everywhere for the broadcast in X-mas. I heard the camera people saying that some of the cameras should be moved back, that they'd do so 'next time'. I don't know if this means they'll film another Don Q or if it's for another ballet/opera altogether. <BR><p>[This message has been edited by sylvia (edited November 03, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Don Quixote - Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2001 1:42 am 
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Very mixed review in The Observer - Jan Parry. It is only one paragraph - so here it is.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> The Royal Ballet's shoddy panto production of Don Quixote has been redeemed (almost) by a providential change of cast. Marianela Nunez, 19, stepping in as an understudy, has proved herself a star. Sunny and feisty, she and flamboyant Carlos Acosta make an ideal couple. They delight in each other's virtuosity, able to give and have a good time, in spite of the music to which they dance. All the fizz goes out of jolly old Minkus when his tunes are played with such contempt <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><p>[This message has been edited by Joanne (edited November 04, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Don Quixote - Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2001 3:03 am 
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<B>The Royal Ballet's 'Don Quixote'</B> <BR>5th November 2001<P><BR>‘Don Quixote’ is an example of the pantomime ballet genre - not my favourite part of the dance canon. At least the plot of ‘Le Corsaire’, nonsense though it is, moves along at a fair lick. The problem with ‘Don Q’ is that there’s not a lot going on. A slight story, humour that not even fine character actors such as William Tuckett and Luke Heydon can rescue and an odd structure which places the Don on a back-burner for most of the work. <P>In addition, the ensemble dances in faux-Spanish and faux-Gypsy style leave me cold. The redeeming feature is the choreography of the solo, pdd and small ensemble dances. I haven’t seen the Kirov ‘Don Q’ and that experience may result in the veil falling from my eyes, but I think not. A work of art can be about many things – tragedy, love, passion, social concerns, abstract beautiful shapes, but technically demanding dancing does not seem enough. It’s interesting that a group of critics on BBC TV recently echoed the views of many 19th C. Russian intellectuals in finding it difficult to see this particular dance genre as an art form, as opposed to a spectacle.<P>The new Royal Ballet ‘Don Q’ seems an odd way for Ross Stretton to start his tenure. Those who have followed the development of Nureyev’s production say that later versions have taken out some of the kinks. In addition, Stretton has borrowed the sets and costumes from Australian Ballet. In general, sharing productions seems a good idea and if American Ballet Theatre can do it with the recent ‘Pied Piper’, why not the Royal? However, the designs for this production are unappealing at best and in Act III are dire, where some of the corps have to cope with lumpy dresses and there are fake curtains and ugly black lamps which obtrude into the dance space. I sighed with relief when they were partly raised. <P>There have been a number of casts and the performance I saw is the one being recorded for TV and includes most of the Royal Ballet’s finest. However, it never really came to life. Tamara Rojo already has such a superb track record that we have the highest expectations of her. This Spanish role sounds tailor-made for her, but at this stage it looks as though it is not going to be a highlight of her career. Her Kitri is skittish rather than passionate and wilful and the relationship with Johan Kobborg’s Basilio never ignites. Jetés are not her strongest suit and they seemed underpowered here. However, her technical virtuosity did come into its own in the Grand Pas de Deux where she drilled her fouetés into the stage with frequent triples and a final quadruple. <P>Kobborg as usual looked wonderful, but without the anchor of a strong relationship with Kitri and the fundamental one-dimensional nature of the role, it became a demonstration of superb technique rather than part of a characterisation. The scene in Dulcinea’s Garden was one of the highlights with Zenaida Yanovsky’s elegance and excellent line as the Queen of the Dryads and Alina Cojocaru’s sparky and neat Amour. <P>Another treat was Marienella Nunez as the Street Dancer in Act I. She performed with characteristic confidence and great verve. A senior dancer in the Company told me how much he is enjoying her Kitri in partnership with Carlos Acosta - she came into the role as a late stand-in for the injured Leanne Benjamin. Mara Galeazzi danced with élan as one of Kitri’s friends.<P>Despite some fine dancing dotted around the ballet, the performance I saw suggests that this is a damp squib of a production and perhaps an error of judgement by the new Artistic Director. I hope that ‘Onegin’ is a huge success, which will be a much-needed fillip for the Royal Ballet and Ross Stretton.<P> <BR><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited November 10, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Don Quixote - Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2001 12:25 pm 
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What a fantastic afternoon! My doubts about the Don Q production haven't exactly been wiped away but today's matinee pretty much confirmed for me that all you need are two bright, charasmatic young leads and the world ain't so bad after all.<BR>I've seen before the 'star' quality that Cojocaru has. What made today so enjoyable was what a match Corella was for her and more with his dancing and mega-wattage smile. And far from stealing the limelight from his partner he showed her off proudly. Their shining faces both have 'superstar' scrawled all over them which surprisingly feels appropriate to Don Q and doesn't detract from the silly story at all. The two epitomise youth and energy and are immensely loveable as Basilo and Kitri. They looked very comfortable and confident in their pdd and the one-handed lifts were heart-stopping.<P>It's the first time I've seen Corella live and in a leading role in a full-length ballet for that matter. The guy's tremendously gifted, not only technically (that goes without saying - he's a human rubber ball, bouncing around the stage, huge elevation and speed, his dizzying spins have to be seen to be believed) but in the hundred-n-one expressions on his face that changed on a dime. The round-eyed gaping look he shot at Kitri as she went off to flirt with old Don Q brought a grin to my face, and his mock death was perfect and wonderfully hilarious. And I think he brings with him that 'Spanish flavour' that seems to be missing from the whole production. What distinguishes him from all others is the immense joy he brings to his dancing. As back-breaking as some of those solos must be each one looks like he's having the most fun of his career.<P>I'd advise anyone who isn't planning to see this on Wednesday to RUN and buy a ticket! This is the only performance I can recall when the audience managed to bring out a 4th curtain call for Corella and Cojocaru after all the lights came up. Okay, okay, enough gushing... though I eagerly await Corella's return next year. <BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Don Quixote - Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2001 2:12 pm 
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That <B>is</B> a strong recommendation Sylvia, but given the quality of the two leads, a believable one. It might even be worth queueing up for one of the day seats, which afford a good view of the main dancers, if not the corps.


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 Post subject: Re: Don Quixote - Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2001 4:55 am 
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Yes it's probably not my most objective review! But the negative aspects have been rehashed so many times in so many reviews I wasn't up to repeating them, though they are still valid. It felt good to focus on the positive leads for a change. <P>Corella's returning to partner Cojocaru in La Bayadere (February) and then Rojo in Giselle (March) - makes me curious how an all Spanish partnership would have worked in Don Q.<BR><p>[This message has been edited by sylvia (edited November 12, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Don Quixote - Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2001 12:01 am 
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Review in The Times particularly of Cojocaru's peformance.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Ross Stretton, the Royal Ballet’s new director, has only been in the job for a few months, but already it’s becoming clear who his favourites are. One of them is Alina Cojocaru, the Romanian dancer who shot to the top under Anthony Dowell’s direction. After seeing her Kitri in Don Quixote, Stretton must be very pleased with his young ballerina. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,62-2001391804,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: Don Quixote - Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2001 12:21 pm 
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14/11/01 - I couldn't resist seeing Cojocaru and Corella again. Another energetic performance by both and I think a more detailed and fully-realised one too. The audience took a little while to warm up (they were strangely muted over Yanowsky's Street dancer and Harvey's Espada) but C&C brought cheers out of them as did Morera's Armour and Tapper's Dryad Queen. Ah well, it's goodbye to Don Quixote until next summer and hello Onegin in a week's time. <BR>Did anyone else go?<p>[This message has been edited by sylvia (edited November 15, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Don Quixote - Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2001 3:42 pm 
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Well I thought I might Sylvia, but in the end the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune intervened. However, a friend of mine did go and told me that the Cojocaru/Corella combination was a partnership made in Heaven. <P>Hey ho, another superb dance evening missed!


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 Post subject: Re: Don Quixote - Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2001 3:25 am 
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Clement Crisp enjoyed himself. How dedicated am I? I actually changed my ticket from Wednesday to go to the Ballet Independents' Group meeting - at least I had the good taste to select that production in the first place.<P><B>Wonderful dancers outshine the staging</B> <BR>Financial Times<BR>By Clement Crisp<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Those well-known Glouces-tershire families, the Cojocarus, the Corellas, the Nunez, must be proud of their dancing children. On Wednesday night, Alina Cojocaru as Kitri, Angel Corella as Basilio, Marianela Nunez as a Street Dancer, blazed through the Royal Ballet's suburban Don Quixote and dispersed all its musty, misty misconceptions. We could forget the dazzle of the townsfolk in their khaki outfits and even khakier expressions; ignore the regimented plodding of the corps de ballet: One, two, three, stamp!; even forgive an Espada who brought the authentic whiff of Barnstaple to his role. (But I can never forgive those ludicrous sets.)<P>Cojocaru took to the stage and to her role in a fandango of high-flying legs, saucy-minx ways, and enough psychic energy to disperse the clouds that loom so prettily on the idiot set. She is young, delicately boned, technically secure in virtuosity, and fetching at every moment. I loved every step, every pout, every trick and turn of her reading, and especially her delicious and unforced gaiety. Adorably danced and adorably good.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=011116000432&query=ballet" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><P>


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 Post subject: Re: Don Quixote - Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2001 3:50 am 
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<B>Dancers to the rescue</B><BR>Don Quixote was a dud debut for the Royal Ballet's new director, Ross Stretton. But as a showcase for the company it was still a winner, says Judith Mackrell in The Guardian <P><BR>Don Quixote, the first production brought in by the Royal Ballet's new director, Ross Stretton, has just reached the end of its opening run. While punters have bought tickets for the ballet with reasonable enthusiasm, critics' reactions have ranged from politely enthusiastic to downright vicious. Widely dubbed "Coppelia with castanets", this twee, hand-me-down staging of Petipa's classic has hardly been greeted as a hot debut for the man hired to lead the Royal into the new millennium.<P>It is an unfortunate, even a lazy start, but not necessarily a damning one. Until a few months ago, Stretton was still running another company - the Australian Ballet - and was not in a position to assemble a trail-blazing programme from scratch. It takes months to get even a one-act ballet on to the stage, and good choreographers get booked up years in advance. <P><A HREF="http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=011117000744&query=ballet" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Don Quixote - Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2001 5:08 pm 
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Mr Crisp is as ever a delight. Cojocaru was for the most complete Kitri, surely a tribute to her Kiev training. However Nunez did the best Vision scene solo, with lovely placing and head movements, and the only Kitri to upstage Yanowsky; Rojos triple turns and fan movements during the fouettes give her the best Wedding solo award. Acosta was undoubtedly the best Basilio.


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 Post subject: Re: Don Quixote - Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2001 2:28 pm 
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I'm impressed - there's a man who saw a number of versions!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Don Quixote - Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2002 11:32 pm 
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Review from The Times.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>THIS was the ballet that launched Ross Stretton’s first season as director of the Royal Ballet. And it remains a questionable acquisition. Rudolf Nureyev’s fussy, fusty production has always been problematic and it still looks as if it has seen better days. The cavorting comedy is frantic, the sets are discordant (Spain by way of the Swiss Alps!), and the lighting is hideous (criminal in the Dryads scene). But what brings people to Don Quixote is its showy Petipa choreography, the chance to revel in a virtually non-stop display of dancing both virtuosic and sublime. Matadors, gypsies, townspeople and Dryads: everyone is doing it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><A HREF="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,685-362743,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE</B></A><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited July 23, 2002).]


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